Wednesday, September 7, 2011

So ... when does autumn begin?

Those television weather reporters seem to be in some disagreement.
Is it when the weather suddenly turns bad?
Is it when leaves fall from the trees?
As early as 1st September I heard one of them talking about autumnal weather.

Teachers and students hold that summer ends when they return to school.

Astronomically-minded people contend that autumn begins at the equinox - 21st September.
(Well, that would be 21st March in the southern hemisphere.)

Now ... does it matter?

Here's a seasonal song from the pen of Robert Burns (1783):

Now Westlin' Winds

Now westlin winds and slaughtering guns
Bring autumn's pleasant weather
The moorcock springs on whirring wings
Among the blooming heather
Now waving grain, wild o'er the plain
Delights the weary farmer
And the moon shines bright as I rove at night
To muse upon my charmer

The partridge loves the fruitful fells
The plover loves the mountain
The woodcock haunts the lonely dells
The soaring hern the fountain
Through lofty groves the cushat roves
The path of man to shun it
The hazel bush o'erhangs the thrush
The spreading thorn the linnet

Thus every kind their pleasure find
The savage and the tender
Some social join and leagues combine
Some solitary wander
Avaunt! Away! the cruel sway,
Tyrannic man's dominion
The sportsman's joy, the murdering cry
The fluttering, gory pinion

But Peggy dear the evening's clear
Swift flies the skimming swallow
The sky is blue, the fields in view
All fading green and yellow
Come let us stray our gladsome way
And view the charms of nature
The rustling corn, the fruited thorn
And every happy creature

We'll gently walk and sweetly talk
Till the silent moon shines clearly
I'll grasp thy waist and, fondly pressed
Swear how I love thee dearly
Not vernal showers to budding flowers
Not autumn to the farmer
So dear can be as thou to me
My fair, my lovely charmer

Here's Dick Gaughan's rendition from 1983 ...

Click here for his chords and notation.

Will somebody sing this at the club soon?
... just for me?

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